Book Reviews Meditation Instruction Mindful Charlotte Mason

Nature study as a mindful activity, part 1 of 3

a nature walk

Nature is one of the best teachers of mindfulness.  To be alone or quiet in nature is a reminder of that we are part of a whole that is much bigger than us.  Nature nurtures us, makes us healthier, resets our nervous system.  Cultures have always known this, but science is backing it up with studies showing the benefits of activities like “forest bathing.”

Question:  Have you ever gone out for nature study or found yourself outside wondering why something is the way it is?  Does moss really grow only on one side of the tree?  Why are all the trees leaning one way?  Why is that bird acting that way?  How did Moana and Maui navigate with stars?  (Had to throw that one in, we love that movie.) I vaguely remember learning cloud types in school, and that they can predict weather to come…what were those again?

Answer:  Pick up a copy of The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley.

“850 tips for forecasting, tracking and more” and “turn every walk into a game of detection.”   As I picked up the copy and flipped through it for the first time, my first thoughts were, “this is an AMAZING nature study book, Charlotte Mason’ers would love this one!!”

If the 850 tips are too much, check out page 341.  It’s “Your Invisible Toolbox” and it gives a way to look at the previous 340 pages as an educational tool for exploring cities, coasts, forests, day and night.  It also contains an Appendix I that could be multiple living math classes, for instance, measuring angles and distance to the horizon.

The author introduces his book as “about outdoor clues and signs and the art of making predictions and deductions.  The aim of the book is to make your walks, however long or short, eminently more fascinating.”  That sounds like it goes hand in hand with homeschooling and a Charlotte Mason education.


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